Philip Northam sentenced to 6 years jail in the District Court of Queensland

Philip Northam is sentenced to 6 years jail in the District Court of Queensland at Brisbane yesterday after a 19-year-long joint tax fraud investigation by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

The Australia Tax Office reported the 60 year-old Northam was arrested by the AFP on a warrant issued in 2008 when he re-entered Australia in November 2018 after living in Vanuatu for a number of years.

Mr Northam was a key promoter of an intricate tax evasion scheme which was designed to strip Australian companies of their assets and leave them in a position where they were unable to pay their tax liabilities.

The illegal scheme concocted a way for companies to transfer all assets of the company to its previous controllers, leaving the company an empty shell which was unable to pay its tax debts.

Once the assets of the company were stripped, new straw directors and shareholders were put in before the company was wound up leaving the entities with no means to pay the tax liabilities.

The civil audit commenced in April 2000 as a result of a tip off from a tax agent. The case was referred to the Australian Federal Police in December 2000 which commenced criminal investigations in early 2001.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter.

Northam is the fifth and final offender to be sentenced for his role in the scheme, bringing the two-decade long joint-investigation to a close. Four other men have already been sentenced as part of the investigation.